Wondering “Where’s the money at?” ^^
We’ll show you, by learning how to say ‘bank’ in Korean. It’s a simple word, and like many Korean words, you can learn it in no time.
On top of that, we’ll also teach you additional vocabulary and phrases to help you when you go to the bank.
Here we go!
‘Bank’ in Korean
So how do you say ‘bank’ in Korean? It’s simple, the word is 은행 (eunhaeng).
Now the next time you need to find a place to stash your cash, you know what word to use!
On a related note, the word for ‘piggy bank’ is completely different, being 돼지 저금통 (dwaeji jeogeumtong). Literally, ‘pig moneybox’.
A word of caution about Romanization
While it is possible for you to study the words in this article simply by reading their romanized versions, it will come in handy for you to be able to read Hangeul if you ever wish to come to Korea.
Hangeul is the Korean alphabet, and not difficult to learn. In fact, you can learn it in just 90 minutes. After you’ve familiarized yourself with Hangeul, life in Korea will suddenly seem so much easier and the country won’t appear so foreign for you.
So, if you’re serious about learning Korean, why not learn Hangeul today?
Formal Example Sentence
The words and grammar in these examples would be used in professional settings or with those older or higher in the social hierarchy than you. You might hear this style of talking if you work at a Korean company, or in a drama/movie.
1. 은행은 어디에 있습니까? → Where is the bank?
(eunhaengeun eodie itseumnikka?)
Standard Example Sentence
You can use these sentences in just about every situation, they're considered polite.
1. 은행은 몇 시에 문을 닫나요? → What time do banks close?
(eunhaengeun myeot sie muneul dannayo)
Informal Example Sentence
This style of speaking is used with friends, family, or others that you're close with.
1. 은행까지 나를 따라와 → Come with me to the bank.
(eunhaengkkaji nareul ttarawa)
Essential Korean Bank Words & Phrases
If you're living in Korea then you may want to open a bank account. Before you try to chat up the tellers though, you'll want to study up on some Korean banking vocab, below is a great list of Korean words and phrases to add to your flash cards.
This list isn't exhaustive of everything you'll encounter, but it's a good place to start. If you have specific words or phrases that you want to know how to say in Korean, you can always ask us in the comments below and we'll let you know as soon as we can.
Korean Bank Vocabulary
1. 은행 → eunhaeng | Bank
Your favorite way to say bank in Korean.
2. 계좌 → gyejwa | Account
3. 외국인등록증 → oegugindeungnokjeung | Alien Registration Card (ARC)
This is your national ID card, similar to a Social Security ID in the U.S.
4. 통장 → tongjang | Bankbook
You get a paper passbook when you open your account, but most people these days just use internet banking in place of it.
5. 재직증명서 → jaejikjeungmyeongseo | Certificate of Employment
Proof of employment.
6. 공인인증서 → gongininjeungseo | Digital certificate
A file that helps identify yourself. You can save it to your computer, USB, or smartphone.
7. 수수료 → susuryo | Fees
Watch out for these! These days, you have to pay 500 won if you withdraw from some ATMs outside banking hours.
8. 외국환 지정거래 → oegukwan jijeonggeorae | Foreign Designated Bank
You only get to choose one bank for this. It's the bank where you can withdraw money internationally.
9. 신분증 / 아이디 →sinbunjeung/aidi | Identification/ID
Usually your passport or ARC.
10. 예금통장 → yegeumtongjang | Internet banking
Make sure you sign up for this when getting an account, it'll make life easier.
11. 한국내 전화번호 → hangungnae jeonhwabeonho | Korean Phone Number
Your smartphone's favorite 11 digits.
12. 여권 → yeogwon | Passport
Hang onto this! It makes traveling a lot easier. ㅋㅋ
13. 비밀번호 → bimilbeonho | Password
Make sure you write this down somewhere, or store it with your favorite Password Manager software.
14. 이체 → iche | Transfer
These are really easy within Korea, especially if you have a digital certificate.
15. 비자 → bija | Visa
This depends on your nationality. Some require a visa, some don't.
Korean Bank Phrases
1. I would like to open a new bank account
통장을 만들고 싶어요
(tongjangeul mandeulgo sipeoyo)
Most banks will have a staff or security guard who will ask you what you're there for. Use this phrase to open a new account and they'll give you the appropriate waiting number or direct you to the counter you need to open an account.
2. I'd like to open a savings account, please
저축예금계좌를 개설하고 싶습니다
(jeochungnyegeumgyejwareul gaeseolhago sipseumnida)
Use this phrase if you specifically want to open a savings account. Banks usually have a selection of options for interest rates. The longer that money stays in the account, the better the interest rate you can get.
3. I would like an ATM card
체크 카드를 만들고 싶어요
(chekeu kadeureul mandeulgo sipeoyo)
All banks offer ATM cards, but there may be a small fee to get it. The good news is that large bank branches can give it to you on the day of your visit. Note: If you don't have all the necessary documents, like an ARC, you may not be able to get an ATM card on that visit.
4. Do you need internet banking?
인터넷 뱅킹 필요해요?
(inteonet baengking pillyohaeyo?)
5. Can I apply for Internet Banking?
인터넷 뱅킹 신청할 수 있어요?
(inteonet baengking sincheonghal su isseoyo?)
You may hear the staff ask you the first phrase. You can answer with the second or use it if the staff don't bring up internet banking. They'll help you get set up. You usually have to set it up in person the first time, but some banks allow you to apply online now.
6. I would like to apply for a digital certificate
공인인증서 발급하고 싶어요
(gongininjeungseo balgeupago sipeoyo)
You'll need a digital certificate for online transfers so be sure to apply for one if you're doing online banking.
7. I need to reset my password
비밀번호를 재발급 하고 싶어요
(bimilbeonhoreul jaebalgeup hago sipeoyo)
If you're not tech savvy enough to change your internet banking password on your own, or there aren't English menus available, then the bank staff should be able to help you.
8. Are there monthly fees?
Most banks don't have monthly fees, although this can sometimes vary between branches. You should still find out about the fees you might incur using your card.
9. Do you have an ID card
10. Please give me your ID card
The bank staff may ask you this if you don't have it with your documents.
11. How much is the wire transfer charge?
송금 수수료는 얼마예요?
(songgeum susuryoneun eolmayeyo?)
12. I want to send money to _______.
_______ 에 돈 보내려고 왔어요
(_______e don bonaeryeogo wasseoyo)
Wire transfers to another bank can sometimes have a small fee, if you're transferring money to a bank outside Korea then there will almost certainly be a fee. You can only transfer money to one foreign bank on your account, your Foreign Designated Bank.
13. I need to make a deposit
14. I need to make a withdrawal
If you don't need or want to use an ATM card then you'll need to handle deposits/withdrawals at the bank counter. It's a very straightforward procedure, just be sure to bring your bank card or bank book and ID.
15. Can I apply for a credit card?
신용 카드 신청할 수 있어요?
(sinyong kadeu sincheonghal su isseoyo?)
Some banks offer credit cards for foreigners now. You can ask at the bank if you can apply. You can also read our guide for applying for a credit card for more info.
Do you have any questions about opening a Korean bank account? What do you think is the best bank for expats? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo Credit: BigStock.com